Architectural Review Board

What Is It?

The Architectural Review Board ("ARB") is a group of five volunteers appointed by the President of Chautauqua's Board of Trustees to review architecture-related issues that affect structures and open spaces throughout the Chautauqua grounds. The five ARB members do not have to be architects. However, two ARB members must also be active members of the Chautauqua Board of Trustees, and the Chairman of the ARB must be a Chautauqua trustee.

Basically, since everything on the grounds is historic at this point in time, all work done on private homes, denominational houses and public buildings needs to be approved. Anyone planning construction or demolition projects must file applications with the office of Charles Heinz, Vice President of Administrative and Community Services. If the Vice President and his staff perceive a necessity for further review, particular applications will be forwarded on to the ARB. So, the ARB does not review all new projects.

Specific Duties

The ARB's precise responsibilities include (1) listening to appeals; (2) reviewing requests for exceptions; (3) considering applications for variances; and (4) evaluating requests for demolition.


Architectural and Land Use Regulations

The ARB relies on the Institution's Architectural and Land Use Regulations for guidance when determining whether or not specific construction projects meet the Institution's architectural and land-use standards. The ARB must interpret these regulations when determining whether or not a project which they deem to be of merit will require some form of variance or waver in order to proceed.

Read or Print the Architectural and Land Use Regulations

In 2010 concerned Chautauquans launched Reform Chautauqua ARB , a "grassroots effort to reform the ARB."  The site reflects frustration over how the ARB is organized and governed.

Click map below to see a full-sized rendering of Chautauqua's Architectural Districts:

Early Chautauquans inspect the Pyramid, a structure which both came and went prior to the inception of the ARB:


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